A Floating White House is an immersive performance and public dialogue project aboard Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidential ship, the USS Potomac. This 170 foot long ship is where the New Deal president came to think through his famous speeches. During FDR’s 13 years as president this ship was referred to as the Floating White House. During the 2020 presidential campaign Constance Hockaday will reclaim this vessel and FDR’s Fireside Chats by commissioning artists to recasts the office of the president as a multivocal entourage. Each artist will be paired with retired presidential speech writers to create a three-to-five minute State of the Union Redress, as part of a cohort of pan-disciplinary artists-in-presidents. For two weekends the ship transforms into a space that feels both like a press conference for the working class and a raucous wedding reception. Each night, as the ship cruises the San Francisco Bay, the audience will have the opportunity to drink, dine, and listen to the voices of legendary musicians, writers, performers, and emerging artists as they describe where we as an American public can put our faith moving forward. These voices will be piped through the loud speakers of the historic USS Potomac to fill the spaces the FDR himself used to write and think through the original Fireside chats.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (May 2020)